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Yes we can

Almost eight years ago, my youngest daughter was born in the NICU at a hospital in Fargo. One of the nurses often caring for her was originally from Jamestown.

Almost eight years ago, my youngest daughter was born in the NICU at a hospital in Fargo. One of the nurses often caring for her was originally from Jamestown.

Occasionally, she'd share recollections of Jamestown. Having moved away after high school she said she'd rarely returned since her family had moved away. Most often she'd comment on how Jamestown rarely changed.

I've been thinking about that a lot recently in relation to today's vote on the Two Rivers Activity Center, or TRAC.

A lot of the bigger cities in North Dakota have undergone pretty significant changes in recent years with seemingly endless growth. Jamestown has not seen that kind of robust expansion, although certainly there has been some, and to my way of thinking that is only a good thing.

For decades it seemed, a snapshot of Jamestown from 1985, 1995 or even 2005 was like a land frozen in time. It was the same buildings, often times not very aesthetically pleasing, with rarely anything new being constructed.

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Whether it's a community, a sports program, a church or whatever, growth is generally a good thing. Adding new attractions adds to the appeal.

That's how I view TRAC.

No proposal is ever perfect and when the word "tax" is attached to anything, you instantly get a segment of the population that goes into full-body-heave mode, it seems. Odd how when the state legislature gave the oil industry a multi-billion dollar sloppy kiss in the form a massive tax break, few made much of a stink about that, though. But in Bismarck, no billionaire is left behind.

TRAC is nothing like that. This is a project by the people for the people.

Politicians often like to use the phrase "grass roots" when they're on the campaign trail. Rarely does that phrase apply, however. But with this project it did. People were knocking on doors getting signatures, holding open meetings -- they were actually out there working for it.

This was not a project where somebody was glory-hunting for credit, which is not always the case here. In fact, had it not been for stories in this newspaper, I could not have identified one person intimately connected with this cause.

That's rare this day and age. There isn't anybody getting rich off TRAC if it's built. No, it's a place where people will go run, walk, swim, and if there's a long winter with snow into April, the Jamestown High School tennis team will have an indoor court to play on instead of hitting balls into a gym wall.

Of course, the all-encompassing complex will have hundreds of additional uses for folks of every age.

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Many people have made the argument for TRAC saying that all the other major North Dakota cities have facilities like this one. While that's absolutely true, that should not be the reason to vote for it. A better reason is because it's the smart thing to do.

Jamestown has made incremental progress growing in recent years. We are ready, and we need, a top-notch facility like this. There is a cost, there always is, but contributing $1 for every $100 spent seems quite reasonable to me. If that number is too much for you than you probably are suffering from PTS-poorer than Selvig-and you probably should vote no, and believe me, I feel your pain.

Back in November, Jamestown voted "no" to building a new library, sending the always popular anti-book message across the state. We can't do anything about that now, unfortunately.

Today however, we can decide to build a very nice multi-purpose facility that would send the message that we are pro-fitness, while at the same time proving Jamestown is growing and changing for the better.

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